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February 1994


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"David A. Roth" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
David A. Roth
Sat, 26 Feb 1994 23:29:35 EST
text/plain (28 lines)
In Regards to your letter <[log in to unmask]>:
> For movies things get more complicated.  Typically a mainstream film is
> written as a "work for hire" which means that for the purposes of
> copyright the studio/distribution/other corporation is deemed to be
> the "author" of the work.  On this point, see the tail credits way
> down at the bottom for an inscription which spells this out:
> Rough paraphrase from memory:  "Warner Bros. is considered to be the
> author of the foregoing motion picture for the purposes of copyright."
I'm a film composer.  For independent filmmakers sync license is issued
for the music soundtrack.  Although I retain all rights to the music,
they are being given permission to use the music with the motion picture.
This does not mean they own the music or have any other control over
it outside the use of this specific motion picture.  It is like
a book author giving permission to have a chapter of his
or her book included in someone else's book.  The filmmaker copyrights
the entire film as a "work" which they control.
I thought it would be important to point this out to film students
on the list since you don't need to have copyright for music transfered
to the filmmaker like many of the majors do.
David A. Roth
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